2002, poetry, The Uncollected Poems

The Birds

After talking to you .
I let the dogs out
and went about cleaning my room.
going through papers and books.
trying to make since of it all.
I put on Nick Cave’s Boatman’s Call.
and then went out side
to look at my pepper and tomato plants.

The birds become abundant
crying ,
searching
Buddy Gump walks at a fast pace
with birds flying all around him.
orange chests pushed into his face
beaks pecking at his butt
his tail tucked underneath.

I recall
a kitten that once purred in my lap;
then, later she clawed at my face.
her tail wagging,
strong sharp snaps
back and forth.

The birds circumvent me,
as Buddy hid behind me.
Their brown wings
crack before me.
I stand.
Their movements become tornadic.
screeches
yells
they fly from me
to Buddy
to the trees
to the small black birds that fly about the sky.

but what was this all about?

There is a secret caught inside,
inside the throat.
hidden radiant whiteness.
innocence.

Two birds attack and hammer us back,
Buddy Gump, I and the other birds.

But for what?
I bear witness to my own cowardice,
As I see that they joined together
to declare us dead.
for love:
a little baby bird had fallen
while trying to fly.
He had come down to rest within the dangers of the ground world.
for him these birds have lived
and for him they will die.

What they didn’t realize,
Buddy Gump was just trying to say hi,
to the little bird.

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